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March 06, 2007

Comments

Amy MacKinnon

I love the idea of having a Nielsen-like opinion board for book covers. My knees do grow weak when something dazzles me. For instance, I just ordered Finn based on both buzz and cover art, and first emailed Patry Francis after reading her her blog, and then seeing the cover of The Liar's Diary. I suppose intrigue is built several different ways, but cover art is chief among them.

PJ Parrish

MJ,

Re: test marketing book covers. I can't recall who, but I know that some publishers routinely run their covers by select book BUYERS (ie Pennie Clark Ianniciello the women who selects all the books that appear in Costco). That's kind of scary when you consider Walmart recently told a romance publisher they wouldn't stock a certain book until the author changed a plot-line they found objectionable. (I think it had to do with a plane hijacking).

When I was in the newspaper biz, we did focus groups whenever we wanted to change the design of the paper. I'm with you -- why can't some version of this be used by publishers?

MJ

Why indeed??? We used to do it all the time in advertising. And with the internet it would be so cheap.

Joe Wikert

Hi M.J. Why do I get the feeling that test marketing book covers would lead us to create the next "New Coke"? I guess it's just because I'm not a big fan of focus groups and that sort of thing. I tend to agree with Henry Ford who said something along the lines of, "If I would have listened to all my customers I would have worked on building a faster horse, not a car."

On the advertising front, it's hard to make accurate blanket statements. I'm a publisher of technology books and I tend to see more value in author platforms than ads. I also tend to see more bang for the buck from in-store placement than advertising. I'm not saying every book should be stacked high, but my experience has shown that several copies in a B&N, especially placed in a manner that grab someone's attention, has more of an impact than an ad in a trade magazine, for example.

But, as this industry evolved, nothing seems to be more important than author platform. I'll take an author with a 300,000-subscriber mailing list over one who wants to pay $100K to advertise their own book!

Again, my experience is more from the technology side of the business, so your mileage may vary...

The comments to this entry are closed.

By M.J. Rose

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    Indie Next List. Intriguing, absorbing, and utterly captivating, Seduction will leave you begging for a sequel." —Books & Books "Mysterious, haunting, and tragic, Seduction emerges as a suspenseful alchemy of potent ingredients, beautifully blended, that ignites your senses and leaves you aching for more." (Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet ) "Seduction is an absolute pleasure to read -- clever, suspenseful, exciting, mysterious, learned, and engrossing. Some of the best historical fiction I've read in quite some time and just plain reading fun. M.J. Rose is at the top of her game, and that is saying something." (David Liss, bestselling author of The Twelfth Enchantment )

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